What is PTA?
As a new school year begins, we have many people ask – what is PTA? Excellent question!
On a state and national level, PTA has a very lofty mission, “To make every child’s potential a reality by engaging and empowering families and communities to advocate for all children.”
That said, what does PTA look like at Mills? Our PTA at Mills works to foster collaboration among parents, teachers, and staff so that we can create a vibrant, successful learning community for our children. At Mills, the PTA sponsors fun, community building events (in non-pandemic years, of course!) such as festivals, a Valentine’s Day Dance, family movie nights, and spirit nights at local restaurants, among others. Some of these events are fundraisers, and the PTA uses the money to support projects that benefit all students at Mills. The PTA, for example, in the coming year will support landscaping projects around the school grounds, possibly including the purchase of more outdoor classroom seating. The PTA also firmly believes that Mills’ teachers and staff are the school’s greatest asset, and so we focus a lot of effort on making sure teachers (and other staff!) are supported and appreciated. Last year, the PTA helped fund air purifiers and filters for some classrooms so that EVERY classroom might be a little bit safer for students. The PTA also tries to serve the larger Austin community through various service projects, particularly around the winter holidays. Long story short, the PTA at Mills is a group (hopefully growing!) of family volunteers that works to improve the quality of education of all of the students at Mills and build a community of families and staff who support one another with the primary goal of educating our children.
What does it mean to be a PTA member at Mills?
Truth be told, PTA membership can be whatever you decide to make of it. For some families, PTA membership is strictly the act of signing up and paying the membership dues. (And, that is so much, absolutely okay!) Soon after you join, you’ll receive a membership card, and with that card, you can receive some delightful discounts. (For more info, see https://www.txpta.org/member-perks.)
Many PTA members, however, are amazing volunteers for the school. Depending on your time availability and your talents, we can find a volunteer position that fits your needs. This pandemic year is a little tricky to start because parent volunteers are not allowed inside the school, BUT we have so many ways you can support Mills’ teachers and students without stepping foot in the building! For example:
1. Dirt Club: We can always use landscaping volunteers for our Dirt Club. The Dirt Club does an amazing job maintaining and adding beauty to our school grounds.
2. Murals: If there are any artists out there, we have a few walls inside school that need some painted murals. Keep your eyes open for more info about design details! (Okay, this one, you will have to go inside the school, but when students aren’t there!)
3. Financial Reconciliations: Though it may not seem nearly as exciting as pulling weeds or painting walls, we always need a committee of people to do our bank reconciliations and audits. If you have a mind for detail and are willing to help, let me know!
4. Donation Gathering: Do you love soliciting donations from businesses? If so, there will be events that need door prizes or silent auction items in the future!
There will absolutely be other things that come up as the school year continues – we’ll need help planning events (virtual and in-person), organizing sheds, and so many other fun things. Keep your eyes open for volunteer opportunities If you have any questions, please comment below or you can message me directly.
And, of course, join the PTA online by clicking here.